[Clayart] we all look alike
gerrg42 at gmail.com
Mon Aug 8 17:06:43 UTC 2022
many NCECA's ago, in Louisville, my little group that always stays an extra
day so we could go to as may galleries as possible before the ceramic
exhibitions were taken down, were doing our thing when I stopped us on the
street . it was about 1 pm, and we had been looking for about four hours so
far. the group was myself, Nan Kitchens, Ken Nowiki, Dave Finkelberg, and
a few others, (who i am slightly embarrassed to say I can't remember at
this moment, which i am sure i will as soon as i send this).
I remarked that we're seeing the same pots that we have been seeing at
other NCECA's! All the same forms and glazes, everywhere.
I went home and realized that we had become homogenized as potters. How
did this happen? Pretty much from looking at the same magazines and videos.
Also, the supplies and tools we use are pretty much the same too. Gone are
the regional styles that arose because all anyone knew was what their
local, (and I would give this a big range here, like a several state area),
were doing. Face pots were made in the southeast, etc. The proliferation
of supply stores meant that anyone could buy the same materials anywhere.
If you wanted to be a potter at the North Pole, someone would contrive to
deliver the material to you, and it would be the same as used everywhere.
Yes, an exaggeration, but not by much.
My guideline has been to make pots that I like and that my customers
like. I listen closely to what my customers say, and incorporate their
ideas into my work. As a studio potter making a living, I look to make pots
the public wants. You have to have high quality work first of all, made
quickly and efficiently, and it needs to be what people want, at prices
they can afford. Each market is different, and you need to learn what price
point your market can bear.
Making work that is a collaboration between myself and my customers makes
it unique and unlike any others' work. It is also fun. When i do a show,
the first thing I ask is "What do you think?". It's an open ended
question, cannot be answered yes or no, and relaxes them. And then they
tell me!! Whether or not I want to hear it! This partnership has served
me well. It has also helped me to make truly unique pottery.
Earth and Fire Pottery
10325 Brookside Drive
Middletown, Ca. 95461
Function and Beauty
in the Mingei and
'At home among the lost and found'
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